The Collected Wisdom of Linguists, Part Α
Aphoristically Conveyed from Ancient Sages
Collected and presented for your edification by
The SpecGram Council of Sages
Jouni Maho, Bill Spruiell, Keith Slater,
Daniela Müller, David J. Peterson, and Trey Jones
In this first of three installments, we share with you the proverbial wisdom of ancient sages of philology and linguistics, honed and refined through the ages by the folk wisdom and common sense of the masses. Should you sense a contradiction, recall also that “Proverbs run in pairs.”
There’s more than one way to parse a sentence.
Don’t let the idiom chunk out of the bag.
Inhale before you pronounce.
He who lenites is lost.
All nodes lead to S.
It’s no use crying over split infinitives.
Practice what you parse.
Don’t throw the data out with the bad theory.
It’s better to have lenited and lost than never to have lenited at all.
Love of morphology is the root of all evil.
Don’t put all your consonants in one syllable.
Big grammar, big evil.
A bad linguist blames his tongue.
It’s like the particle calling the adverb “a fake part of speech”.
Don’t bleed the rule that feeds you.
Before criticizing someone, talk an hour in their dialect.
Hit two vowels with one tongue.
A verb is known by the complements it keeps.
Don’t bring data to a theory fight.
All grammatical utterances must come to an end.
Don’t inflect a word until you say it.
Between a tongue and a hard palate.
Don’t judge a word by its sounds.
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make lexicalists.
The vodka is good, but the meat is rotten.
When in Cambridge, analyze as the Chomskyans do.